Bunny Rabbit 03

Lindsey Marie Newton

May 9, 1985 ~ August 15, 2023 (age 38) 38 Years Old
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Nestled between the towering Chugach Mountains and the chilly north Pacific Ocean, a busy hospital in Anchorage, Alaska welcomed its newest guest in the spring of 1985.  Lindsey Marie Newton, a much-loved baby girl, arrived to meet her parents Pat and Judi, and her big brother, Buck. Although her birthday appeared on the calendar three weeks earlier than expected, May 9th became extra special for the next 38 years—because that day Lindsey started changing the lives of everyone around her.

Shortly after she was born, Lindsey’s medical team diagnosed her with a rare chromosome disorder—Ring 18. At that time, not much was known about the quality of life or even longevity of a child born with this unique chromosomal structure. Thankfully, Alaska excelled at providing infant learning programs, early child development resources, and access to outstanding therapists. With Judi’s unquenchable support and encouragement, Lindsey lived a remarkable life filled with new experiences, adventure, travel, and an unending supply of love.

One of Lindsey’s first big adventures—moving “home” to Colorado to enjoy growing up with an extended family support team in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. Lindsey attended kindergarten in Boulder and Nederland, and by the first grade became an unofficial cheerleading mascot for the Panthers football and basketball teams.  Several surgeries occurred over the course of her childhood, but that didn’t stop Lindsey from beaming a little extra sunshine into the world.

Lindsey loved attending school and excelled at reading—this became one of her favorite hobbies throughout her lifetime. In her early school years, Z (as she was affectionately known) participated in sports like t-ball and basketball. She also attended one of the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society’s earliest conferences, held nearby in Winter Park, Colorado. Here, Lindsey’s family gained insight and hope into all the things Z could accomplish—and Judi realized so much of that opportunity was available in California.

Settling in to her next home, a cozy acreage alongside an active cattle ranch with a pleasant view of the Pacific coastal mountains, Z began middle school in Ramona, California. Lindsey quickly connected to her teachers and fellow students, mainstreaming into the majority of her classes. Among her favorites—an eighth-grade choir class which led to a holiday performance—on stage—at the California Center for the Performing Arts in Escondido.

In high school, Lindsey excelled in her Food Trades classes, often offering to help her mom in the kitchen, making tasty salads for their meals. Lindsey enjoyed her drama class (of course) and happily attended the Ramona High School prom at the invitation of a nice young man—under the watchful eye of her big brother Buck and his fiancé, who volunteered as chaperones. During these years, Lindsey regularly participated in a Lakeside therapeutic horseback riding program, proudly bringing home ribbons and medals for her achievements. Lindsey received her diploma and graduated from high school in 2004 amidst the cheers of those who loved her.

Well-prepared and ready for some independence, Z found a second family at her group home in the San Diego area. For the next 16 years, Lindsey’s care providers, Leno, Amie, and Gloria, worked with Judi to help Z enjoy a full life. She began a job at ARC and enjoyed telling everyone about the restaurant and office work she did and the friends she made. With her group home family, Z took a cruise to Mexico and a trip to Las Vegas. She also learned a good amount of Tagalog (from watching Filipino television shows) and is the only known family member to get kicked off the entire San Diego bus system (but just temporarily). During these years, Lindsey regularly explored popular destinations like Disneyland, California Adventure, SeaWorld, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, and the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. If she hadn’t yet met someone, she figured they ought to know who she was, so she’d walk up and say, “Hi! I’m Lindsey!” to get the ball rolling.

Over the years, Z found joy in little things—like Beanie Babies, Veggie Tales, High School Musical, and Hello Kitty. She loved food, live theater, movies, books, the color green, and dogs, but most of all her family. She adored her brother Buck, who taught her how to drive his car in a church parking lot in California—while Lindsey giggled endlessly and wondered, “What is mom going to say?!” Lindsey stood as a lovely bridesmaid in Buck’s wedding to Jesseca. When she got promoted to “Auntie Z,” Lindsey delighted in her two nieces and two nephews. Just by being her open-hearted, funny self, Z taught these kids that people’s differences are part of God’s design, that everyone has value and worth, and that love is available in abundant quantities when you are willing to give and receive it.

In Las Vegas in 2013, Lindsey attended another national conference for families caring for someone diagnosed with Chromosome 18 variations. As one of the oldest, most skilled, and independent members of this special group she was born into, Z spoke about her life and interests—giving hope to countless families that day, just by showing them what is possible.

In recent years, Lindsey struggled with diabetes. After a long stint in a rehabilitation facility from a fall that injured her knee, Z moved into an adult residential home this May. Just three months later, on August 15, 2023, Lindsey passed away. As her uncle said, “She survived so many complications and challenges, her little body just wore out.”

Lindsey’s special place in the hearts of so many will never quite be filled, especially those of her mother Judi, her stepfather, Rudy Aleman, her brother Buck and sister-in-law, Jesseca, her sister Patti Newton, her nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins who all remember Lindsey as a remarkable person who loved others as much as she herself was loved.




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